Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dorks and Bees, what they have in common

N.E.R.D.
I have, evidently, reached a new stage of dorkiness, having gone to two coworkers excitedly stating "I have the 2012 ABMS Codes and Abbreviations list!" followed by a careful perusal of said list to see what was new (Congenital Cardiac Surgery! Pediatric Transplant Hepatology! Hospice and Palliative Medicine is a subspecialty under so many specialties now!) That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I look forward to this every year like a Vogue writer awaiting Paris fashion week or something.

There are a lot of bits and pieces to my job that many would find to be tedious and annoying whilst I find them to be gratifying. I don't generally discuss the aspects of what I do that I actually enjoy because I'm an asshole who prefers to bitch and moan (or does that just make me a human) and because it isn't all that interesting to most. One thing I really like is the challenge of recruiting a difficult specialty. Did you know that there are fewer than 200 medical doctors* certified in Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the U.S.? Or that there are only nine Pediatric Surgeons licensed in the state of Delaware? I did! I also like the gathering of information and verifying of credentials, ensuring they are up to date and as they should be with licenses unencumbered. The latter is especially fun because every so often you run a license and find all manner of legal actions taken against one physician or another.**

But, like I said, it isn't all the interesting unless you work in my field and, possibly, unless you are me. Really, I'm doing you a favor in not discussing these matters.

*I can hear you, smart ass. "Medical doctor? As opposed to what, haw haw!" As opposed to doctor of osteopathy (DO) that's what. 
**Notable highlights include a Neurological Surgeon who would put his penis into the mouths of patients who were under anesthesia and multiple physicians who have had 'indecent and improper relationships with patients, regardless of mutual consent'.

Grams, no Boxes
Have you purchased anything containing pseudophedrine lately? I did so on Monday and was reminded that it has become quite the illicit drug these days. Instead of picking up a box in the cold remedies aisle, you pick up a little picture of what you would like to buy, take it to the pharmacist, hand over a government-issued ID, and wait for your information to be inputted into a databank. Only then can you receive the coveted pills, all red and tiny. I asked the pharmacist how many boxes I could buy before my name was red flagged in the system but she told me that they go by grams rather than boxes. I think she said you can purchase nine grams of the stuff a month but I'm not sure because by then my eyes had started to leak like faucets and I'd clutched my booty to my chest and ran out of the store as though I'd purchased the final box needed to start my very own meth lab.

Worth the purchase, by the way. The pseudophedrine seems to be doing wonderful things for my head cold and I am confident that I'll be back to my normal self before long. Granted, my evenings have turned into my coming home from work, collapsing on the couch, popping some allergy pills along with the cold medicine, passing in and out of consciousness, and bed before ten. Not an exciting life, what with all of the not being awake, but if it is what I need to recover, I'll put up with it. I'm fairly certain one more night in a semi-comatose state will be just what I need. Setting my phone to "alarm only" allows me to lay in my own drool undisturbed by anything save for the pig letting me know he would like some more hay or reminding me that I still owe him for not giving him any floor time on Monday. It was for his own good, I didn't want him to get sick.

Fortunately, my cold hasn't disturbed my work life too much, and in fact, I'm hoping to get a bit of over time this week to help with my car bill. I have been a paragon of productivity this week (second time I've used that phrase in this here blog), arriving to the office early, remaining, as if chained, at my desk, plowing through masses and masses of work. It's gratifying really, having an endless amount of work to do and having at it for hours at a time, and I enjoy being efficient and productive (I'd make a damn fine ant or worker bee).

I told you I'm dorky.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Productive cough

I'm sick again. When did this start, where I get sick all the time? When I was in middle school/junior high, I used to get sinus infections every six weeks like clockwork because I have a super sexy open sinus cavity. Shut up, it isn't what you think. It looks like a tiny mole or something and you'd never notice it unless your doctor told you about it and then you did the super smart thing of trying to see if you could stick an earring into it (which you could). Mine is by my ear but most are on kids' throats and excrete mucus. Mine never did so we didn't know I had one for a long time. But that shit stopped some time ago and I became one of those annoyingly healthy people who never got colds. These days? I get sick and it sticks the fuck around for awhile.

Granted, this time it has only been two days but I don't like it and don't understand why it is happening. Runny nose and cough. I wouldn't be concerned but for the fact that coughs don't happen to me but I understand they hang around for a bit. Plus, my friend is coming next weekend and I simply refuse to be sick during his visit because that will put a kibosh on any fun. So hit me with any remedies, OK?

With regards to my chronic and incurable disease, I'm doing A OK. I had a follow up visit at my MS Clinic and my neurologist said I'm doing fine although I may have a slight deficiency on my left side. It isn't a problem or anything but I mention it because the test was hilarious. Clapping. I had to clap with my right hand clapping my left and then my left clapping my right. Evidently, I clap slower with my left hand. It is most likely a mixture of the fact that I'm right handed and it is awkward to clap with my left hand. But really modern medicine? Clapping? This is what we use for neurological tests? Awesome. Oddly enough, my left toe now responds to vibrations at a normal rate, which it did not do back in September, the last time I saw this physician. I've asked my mother to overnight some point shoes ASAP so that I can restart that ballet career.

A fun fact about my neurologist is that he is German and doesn't always understand me. He asked me what I do for a living and I found myself having to explain things like medical board certification and malpractice suits so that he'd have an idea of what it is I do. A bit disturbing since he should know these things but I just assume he refers to them in a different way (and I know that he is certified with a license in good standing - I looked that shit up before I ever saw him). He gets really excited to try out new Americanisms that he's learned and he even tried on a mid west accent yesterday. At the very end, I asked if I could just leave or did I need someone to walk me out. He apparently thought I was asking how to get out because he gave me directions. Poor fuck. He deals with disorders of the central nervous system and has to explain medical shit to people, which is probably challenging enough without even this slight language barrier.

Regardless of my occasional panic attack/pity parties, there are some things I still find joy in with regards to the ole MS. I still get a kick out of saying "I have to go to the clinic" and letting friends and colleagues make of that what they will. "Clinic" intimates things like VD or abortion and I don't clarify for people. I also still get a kick out of saying "incurable disease". I know it isn't funny or anything, but if you have one, saying "I have an incurable disease" is something you can say and it tickles me for some unknown reason. Probably the ambiguity and uncertainty of it, when people don't know just which of the IDs I'm referring too. I always feel like I'm letting them down slightly when I admit that it is multiple sclerosis. Still, I find it fun to say.

And that is that. If you need me, I'll be practicing some dance moves and applauding people with my left hand to build up my strength. When I'm not swilling cough medicine and taking day quil pills that is.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I think you've had enough

Booya motherfuckers
I know you come here for exciting life updates such as "my hair smells dirty" and "my cubicle smells like pee" (make that exciting odor updates) but today I am going, nay must, change things up a bit. Wait! Come back! I promise it'll be worth your while! No, really, it will. Prepare to have your minds blown.

Today I found this campaign ad.

That's OK, I needed a few minutes after I first watched it too. This must be what it was like for Paul when he was converted. Before this day, when I thought "Ron Paul" I thought "terrifyingly crazy political ideals" and "thank goodness he is the Ralph Nader of the GOP." And then, there I was, listening to a broadcast of Morning Edition on NPR when this ad was referenced. Oh how I wanted to hear more! But my company blocks most web-sites (thank you very much Big Brother) so I was forced to wait until I got home to youtube it. And youtube it I did. Ron Paul isn't some crazy old man who is out of touch with reality! Why he's as hip as you and me! I mean, the ad is even referenced to as being "edgy." Stodgy politicians don't use words like "edgy"! And that part where the narrator says "later bureaucrats"? O. M. G. Nothing says young, cool, and with it like saying "later" instead of "goodbye."

Did you feel it too? I bet you did. And I bet it was life changing.

So, full disclosure, I'm a registered Libertarian myself. I actually consider myself to be a far left leaning Libertarian but that's because I haven't studied Socialism too in depth (and there is a good chance I might be a Socialist) and because I really do think Libertarianism is the way to go... in theory. In reality, however, I fully believe in government-funded programs for the elderly and poor and federal funding of public schools*. Ron Paul has some truly terrifying politics. Look him up kids**.

Sorry, what were you saying? I was too busy choking and crying
Have you ever had someone tell you a story when a seemingly insignificant detail strikes you as hilarious and so you end up laughing, hysterically, far harder and for far longer than is at all polite? That happened to me some time ago and the person involved sort of gave me permission to post it here so I thought, meh, why not? I'll delete it if it feels too "you had to have been there." In order to protect the innocent, I'm not going to reveal the name of the friend. Instead, I'll simply call him Shunter. There, total anonymity.

OK, so the very last time Shunter was in stown, we were having a discussion about something like broken bones or hospital trips. Who knows? Hospital trips and broken bones are usually discussed five or six times a day between friends, right? At any rate, we were talking about something that led Shunter to begin telling me about an accident he had when he was in his early twenties. He and a friend were riding motorcycles and somehow or another, Shunter's ended up going wonky, he tried to slow down to right it, and ended up wiping out tremendously. From what I understand, there was a lot of blood and a lot of skin removed from where skin had been previously***. This was in the olden days because Shunter was in his early twenties in, uhm, the late 80's**** and they didn't have cell phones. So, instead of calling for help, he and his friend had to wait for this lady who happened to drive by in her car to give them a ride to the hospital. Shunter was explaining his injuries when he got to the pesky little detail that started me off into a fit of laughter that was so long and so hysterical that I'm pretty sure he felt embarrassed.

His outfit.

Do you know what I remember about fashion in the 80's? Nothing. I was born in December 1980 and my memory doesn't begin until 1991 and, even then, is pretty blurry on the visuals. Shame on you people. Shame on those who were young adults in the 80's and shame on the parents of young children. What. The. Fuck? Do you know what Shunter was wearing when he wiped out on a motorcycle? A half shirt. That's right, I said it and it happened. He was wearing a fucking half shirt (now you can appreciate why I had to change his name). My man was wearing a half shirt, cut off denim shorts, and sneakers without socks. His hair as either feathered, which is what he told me when he first recounted the tale to me, or in a mullet, which he let slip today over instant messenger. Either way, he was looking, I don't know, gnarly? Is that what you people said in 1986-1989?

A mother fucking half shirt.

That was the first thing he told me about the outfit and I could not hold my shit together. When he reminded me of it today, out of the blue, I had my earphones in (listening to NPR and awaiting the miracle as described above) and so I sort of forgot that I was at work so I started laughing again, just a little too loud to have any chance of hiding it with a cough. But when I first learned about it, I started laughing so hard and so uncontrollably that the poor bastard couldn't even get the rest of the story out for a good five minutes.

And that is just one of the many reasons I love this good friend of mine. That and because he reminded me of the half shirt when we were talking about prostitutes but that, my friends, is for another time. After all, I've already given you the gifts of Ron Paul's awesome ad and a story that is probably only funny to me. I'm not a fucking endless well of gifts after all.

* There are too many idiots who say either "I don't have kids" or "my kids graduated" to explain why they are against tax payer dollars going to public schools for anyone to truly believe we'd be OK without the pesky government insisting that we contribute... and by we, I mean those who have to. Someone told me today that I don't because I don't have property tax.

**Then look up Newt Gingrich and read about how he thinks girls should be rewarded for graduating high school as virgins. I bet part of the reward would be having the President perform the test required to prove that you are virgo intacto. 

***Considering the context, my laughter seems fucked up now. 

****Numbers and I are not friends so I have to use a calculator most times, even for simple subtraction.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Smelly, puzzling, bowler

Lousy Locks
My hair smells like dirty hair and it is driving me nuts. I think I didn't get it fully washed on Monday night and so then my pillow smells like dirty hair making my freshly shampooed mane still smell dirty. Very frustrating, especially as I am at work today and have to worry that everyone else can tell. "She doesn't wash her hair!" That's what they are all thinking. "Poor thing has had too much and just can't keep it together. Should we tell her she smells? That would be a kindness really, wouldn't it?" Or perhaps not. I've not chatted with anyone or had any intimate tete a tetes so I think my secret my be safe. I'll have to change pillowcases and give my head a thorough scrub this evening to ensure I don't have a repeat tomorrow. Being the 'smelly girl' is something I've always assiduously avoided in life. Hell, I carry deodorant with me everywhere and find it odd that others don't. Girl with the dirty hair makes me feel like a hoarder or a crazy cat lady so I need to shore this shit up ASAP.

Puzzler
I spent the bulk of my three-day weekend working on a puzzle. Why, you ask? No fucking clue. Shortly after my birthday, I went to Barnes and Noble to take advantage of the very generous gift card my boss gave me. One of the things I purchased was a $2 puzzle because, after a lifetime of despising these things, I thought I'd give one a whack as an adult and see what they were like. I pulled it out on Saturday afternoon and worked for hours and hours (literally) on the fucker. Did I start simply, with a 250 piece puzzle or a 500 piece one? Hells no, that's for pussies. I decided to dive in feet first with a 1,000 piecer with each piece being smaller than a quarter.

No idea what I was thinking with this little endeavor but I will say this, it's a great distraction. It's really all I did for three days straight, until yesterday, when I took the day off, and sat in bed reading archives of a blog all day. As you can see, I'm making great headway at becoming a creepy shut in (the dirty hair is just a symptom). I should never have purchased the puzzle, actually. For one, as I said, I've never liked them. One of my mother's best stories is about how I went for my IQ test as a child and flat out refused to do any of the puzzles because I simply did not like them and did not "do" them. The proctor told my mom that she was sure I was capable and she had to let the clock run out but that I just sat there and refused to even look at the pieces. Buying one all these years later, especially one with so many pieces, was not a sensible move.

What's more is that I get really obsessive about this sort of thing and I've gotten far enough into the fucker that I can't just put it away. Not so far as to feel any real sense of hope, but just far enough that I have to finish it now. And so I can picture many a night in my future with me hunkered down over the dining table, feverishly trying to fit the pieces together as hours slip by and the night gets away from me. Others might show up to work tired with a hangover but I'll be red eyed and wasted from lack of sleep because if I can just get this bit finished over here, then I'll go to bed. I'm really tempting my crazy with this endeavor.

It isn't a matter of winning or losing
But you better fucking be serious if you want to be on my team. Did you know that I'm competitive? Not in everything, but in some ways. Take Wii Bowling. This is the second year my office is utilizing Wii Bowling to raise money for a good cause. There are a number of teams with four players each and the top two teams or three teams will compete in a finals sort of thing (I think). My team, with Super Woman, came in second last year. It was my first time playing anything on a Wii and so I get something of a pass although I did pretty well. This year SW and I have two new players on our team and one of them is earning my anger and fury by not taking it at all seriously. I want first place this year and she isn't even practicing at home! She said she would, said she'd beg her niece to help her. But it was all lies. I told SW that if we win, this particular person can't even look at the trophy.

I also told SW, a week or so ago, that next year she and I probably shouldn't be on the same team because we are competitive in the same way and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. The last two times we bowled, it was just the two of us and you could feel the tension and stress the entire time. I could hardly breathe until I was done.

And yet this woman doesn't even practice. Some people just have no sense of priorities.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Back Bone

I hate that I don't feel for him what he feels for me. I texted him two nights ago saying that we are both broke so did he want to try living together when our leases were up. He, understandably, felt that this was a conversation we needed to have in person. We couldn't yesterday because I was drained and tired after work (my fatigue is back as I learned this afternoon), so I went today.

He told me that he'd hoped I would tell him that I wanted him to come home because he loves me and is in love with me. He could never live with me as a roommate because he couldn't have me that near without our being together.

I told him that nothing had changed. I love him but I don't have more feelings for him. I even told him that I'd considered just faking it for the rest of my life. Because I love him and want him to be taken care of and don't trust that he always takes good care of himself. That sounds so awful and I put it badly and knew it right away. I don't pity him. I just want him to be happy. In that brief moment I realized how ludicrous it was to think he could be happy living a lie.

I cried, but only a little. I don't know if he was only angry or sad and hurt as well but assume all three were present. I didn't apologize this time. For the first time in forever, I realize that I'm done apologizing for what I feel and for what I don't. Even though I wish I did love him like I used to.

Why is it so hard to let go when you are the one no longer in love?

The important thing, the one that makes all the difference, is that I understand finally that it is truly over because it has to be. As much as it kills me that I hurt J, and as much as I want to be in control and take care of him and make sure he is OK, I know this is the right thing to do. Because he deserves more than I have to offer. I'm a fine individual and I don't think I'm some unworthy being, but he deserves to have a woman who will love him and be there for him always. Not the 23 year old girl who grew into a totally different 31 year old woman. He deserves more than my odd offer to fake it.

Because he is a great man. He is intelligent and attractive and funny as fuck. I wish him the best and want the world for him and so I know that as unhappy as I would be if we stayed married, he would not fair much better.

So I'll take his anger if he gives it. I'll take any vitriol if he feels it. And I will always wish to have some sort of hidden camera, some magical power to direct things to ensure he is OK but I will also understand and accept that I am a control freak and that this wouldn't help either one of us. Because I love him. I always will. I have never met a better person than the man who didn't remember that I sat across the radiator from him in British Literature I until I mentioned I'd been faking a southern accent, the man I came across again because he scared me when he sat behind me in Early Modern Intellectual Thought, the man who asked for my number at Brew Ha Ha when he was twenty minutes late to work .

He is the best person I've ever met and he is the one who has most influenced me and I will, always, be grateful, that I had so many years with him, and I will always hope that he finds the happiness that he so greatly deserves.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

(Non Side) Car

I got my car back today! It cost me a bundle but I got it back! The guy at the shop informed me that the main issue was was the "back knuckle", which everything is connected to (shocks, struts, brakes, everything) and he couldn't believe that I'd driven it to the shop in that condition. In fact, he told me that he'd never seen a rear knuckle smashed clean through and that when they raised the car, the wheel almost broke clean off. He's been in the game for 20 years and kept the part just because he'd never seen it before. "Glad fucking up my life has at least impressed somebody!" I told him, with good humor, that I was going to be selling my stuff in order to make up for this colossal error, and he let me know that the struts had a life time warranty so, for as long as I drive my car, I'm covered on them. I replied that I plan on driving my little car for as long as I can, that it has only 84,000 miles on it despite being 12 years old and that it is well maintained. "I saw that. You can tell when a car is kept in good shape," he said. "Whenever I bring it in for maintenance I'm told I take good care of it. I don't, you guys do, I just bring it in when I'm supposed to" was my rejoinder.

Poor little car. It rides perfectly but there is fiberglass missing. I drive a 2000 Saturn SL1, a car that they don't make any longer since Saturn went out of business about three years ago. It isn't anything special to look at, and, if you've driven something substantial like J's Impala, it feels like a toy car filled with pipe cleaners, balsa wood, and hope, but I love it and have always planned to drive it forever because I have zero interest in having a car payment.

That was the joy of my day. A woman at work picked me up this morning and was willing to give me rides for as long as I needed. Both she and my boss offered to take me or lend me their vehicles when I was opining how odd it was to be without my car because I had those thoughts of "oh, I'll just run to the bank quickly" or "I'm going to put these boxes in my car" only to remember "no, no I won't, I don't have a car." It was supremely kind of this woman, especially, because she doesn't know me that well and she even offered to lend me her extra car (I was going to but then realized, yeah, I can't risk the liability). The kindness of mid western people still shocks and delights me.

As pleased as I was to get my car back, I think the real shock of it all hit me this evening because I was suddenly very weak and tired. This isn't a terrible thing, just something that is most likely natural and I'm glad of it because I have a feeling I'll sleep well and wake refreshed. I have a long road ahead of me and I still get a bit weepy, but I'm slowly moving from that terrible fear to my old resourceful self that just says "buck up, buttercup. You'll get through this and you'll be fine, as you always are." I am pleased, as I always am, with my resilience. Yes, I did something stupid like make a terrible mistake in traffic, and I am presently royally fucked, but I still have that sense that has been with me for ages, that I'll end up OK.

What else, after all, can I be? I'm not one to sink, but one to swim and whilst I am a poor swimmer in reality (lower body of a Viking, upper body of a poet), I'm also fairly tenacious and always resurface, no matter how strong the current. There is just too much to enjoy in this damned world for me to allow myself to be defeated by something like financial strain or inconvenience.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Fear

I was going to take pictures of my bookshelves for this post but it was far too pathetic. I've sold most of my books, DVDs, and CDs over the past few months for the extra money (usually for pig-related purchases). Now I am weeding through the items I thought I couldn't part with so that I can put the money towards my citation. Funny how easily it is to mourn and get over having to part with things you once thought you couldn't let go of. Sadly, I've fucked up badly enough that I'm going through and finding solid silver spoons given to me by my grandmother and wondering what I can get for my old digital camera at a pawn shop. I even considered getting rid of internet until I remembered that the internet is necessary for times like right now, when I've had to work from home (I connect to my office desktop through the internet).

This blows. What's worse is that it is so stupid. I have a good job and make good money and yet I still live paycheck to paycheck. Regardless of my forty hours a week, I still stocked up on Ramen today because it is nineteen cents a packet and I won't be able to afford much more going forward. In May I will move to a new apartment, one I haven't yet found but that will cost much less. As soon as I get my car back I will cancel my gym membership. Tomorrow, when I'm back in the office, I'll put my Netflix movie in the mail and cancel that as well to save the eight bucks.

I'm happy to rely on the library but there are certain books I hope to never have to part with, namely An Unquiet Mind, which I read in college and in which I first saw the signs of bi polar in myself. That book aided in the saving of my life. Part of me wants to rip off half the cover to ensure that I never can sell it. But I won't because it is, after all, just a book. And if it can bring me fifty cents, I'll have to take it.

You know, my boss gave me shit about working from home, the day after my car accident. "Please try to come to the office if you can." How was I supposed to manage this without a car? The bus system in Columbus is not that great. It would be at least 90 minutes and at least two transfers and I don't think the timing would work. I cannot afford cab fare let alone a rental and I, stupidly, only have liability insurance. I work hard. I bitch and moan and joke but I actually work really hard. And when I work at home, I put in at least a nine hour day whilst I only charge for eight hours because no one is asking me to go that extra mile. But I do it out of guilt.

Yesterday evening, I shredded newspaper so that I could clean Johan's cage and that broke my heart. He seems OK but I hate that I can't afford to buy him his bedding. Hunter commented that at times it seems I take better of my guinea pig than I do of myself but Johan is my pet and he shouldn't have to suffer because I'm an idiot. I've even made plans for him, should things get out of control; Upstairs Kid will keep him and I'll come every day to take care of him should I not be in a spot to take care of him myself. How ridiculous is that? Johan will always have hay, bell peppers, cilantro, and vitamins for his water, even if I have to eat nineteen cent Ramen. But I can't bear to give him away because I love him and because i don't think he'd cope well in a new setting after three years with me. I, who has never wanted children, am acting like a desperate mother.

Hunter offered to loan me money. So did Upstairs Kid, who has nothing to really lend. But, as I say, I dug my own grave and it is for me to either climb my way out of it or pull down the dirt on top of me. That is the worst part, knowing how good I have it and how badly I've fucked up and caused myself problems.

No, that isn't the worst. The worst is the gnawing fear and uncertainty. I honestly don't know how things are going to work out and I don't know what I'm going to do. I've been looking for part time work for a second job for awhile now but I haven't been successful and I've actually felt guilty with my frustration because, after all, how can I ask for two jobs when so many don't even have one? But I am well and truly terrified because I don't know what I'm going to do and if I'm going to be able to climb out of this hole. Why the stupidity that was my car accident must be so expensive, I'll never know. But I'll try my best to find a solution.

Years from now I'm certain I'll tell stories, with pride, about how I made it through our "Great Recession." But right now I'm scared. Right now, I'm fucking terrified.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

15 Uninteresting Things You Probably Don't Know about Me

Valentine's Day! Didn't quite work out as I'd hoped. For one, I found out that my car is costing $1,900 (the other person's is less than $300). Even though I'm at fault, my insurance company is only paying 80% because he was partially liable for not doing anything to avoid the collision. The car damage is enough to prove that as my rear passenger side tire is the area of damage. My boss also gave me a bit of an issue about working from home, as he is want to do, even though everyone else in their right minds has expressed the opinion to me of "you were in a car accident yesterday, you have the resources to work from home, and you don't have transportation, so what's the big deal?" And J was diagnosed with severe bronchitis so he isn't here with me now eating pizza, drinking wine, and watching Columbo.

C'est la vie. Life goes on of course. So I thought I'd sit and do one of those Facebook "Things You Don't Know About Me".

1: My middle name is Eileen.
2: I have 20/400 visual acuity with astigmatism in my right eye.
3: One of my more random indulgences is fancy soap. I like bubble baths and all but I don't buy fancy bubbles and I don't go in for body washes. But I do love fancy soaps.
4: I cannot whistle.
5: I have hyper extended elbows and knees.
6: I'm pretty sure I once rode a camel as a child.
7: My favorite picture of myself is one when I'm a little girl, with both of my brothers, all three of us in our Super Man pajamas, complete with cape.
8: I can speak gibberish, though I'm a bit slower than most.
9: I once had a hamster named Bernadette who was later renamed Bernard when Teacher's hamster, Guess, got pregnant.
10: When I was little, I wanted to be a stand up comedian, a secretary, or President.
11: I have read a biography of Angela Landsbury. I've also seen almost every movie she's ever been in, all the Murder, She Wrote episodes, and the Law and Order SVU episode she was in.
12: I have eaten snake, alligator, and ostrich.
13: I'm a pussy when it comes to bugs.
14: My mother thought at one time that I would be both obese and retarded. And she actually told me these things.
15: I am a weak swimmer and have to hold my nose.

Monday, February 13, 2012

DDF

All I wanna do is dance
Today was saved by both the lovely Side Car and by Wii Just Dance 4, which I am in love with. I played it for an hour today and sweated out the brandy and, hopefully, burned a few calories. I don't do too badly points wise, but only because it's a matter of where the controller is rather than matching the dance moves exactly. This is good because the only bits I can actually do are the arm movements and even those are weak. But it is fun and you can get a good hour-long cardiovascular workout without noticing the time. If you decide to try one of the Just Dance games, I recommend the following:

1: Wear sneakers as you do move around quite a bit.
2: Wear a bra. One song of not wearing one and you will understand why.
3: Have water handy.
4: Make sure you have a lot of room because you will back into your coffee table and risk tumbling over.
5: Unless you are at all gifted when it comes to dancing, I would suggest you make sure you are alone.
6: If you are playing Just Dance 4, don't get too hung up trying to figure out why the person guiding you through the Wilson Pickett song is an alligator.

It's incredibly fun though and I do recommend it for at home workouts.

Shoot
Due to the mess that was my morning, I forgot all about the best experience I had in the last few days. Upstairs Kid took me shooting on Saturday! I shot a 22 rifle and a STG556 "Bull Pup" semi automatic rifle. The 22 was fun but the Bull Pup is what I fell in love with due to its power. It was loud, had a strong recoil, and I could see smoke when the shells discharged.  I've fallen in love with this and hope it becomes a new hobby. I've always been fascinated by guns but also terrified of them. My boss offered to take me to the range and I was keen to go until he pointed out that you really trust your fellow man when you go because you never know for sure that no one is going to just go psycho. I don't know why I decided to go but I'm glad I did because it was such a fun experience. Next time we will shoot hand guns and J will come with. One day I may even go so far as to purchase my own handgun for protection and go all out for the concealed handgun license, which is legal in Ohio, just for the badassness of it all. At this time, however, the only weapon I've purchased is a hot pink bottle of mace.

Hunter is pretty ecstatic about my new found love and a friend in Arizona was vocal about it as well, saying that the next time I'm in town, we'll have to go shooting. I'm not sure how J feels about it because I don't really know how he feels about guns. But he did say he wanted to go when we shoot handguns so that will probably answer my question about how he feels. The whole experience was so fun that I still can't stop talking about it with anyone and everyone. I've had two conversations with cashiers at my local grocery store, both of whom were very enthusiastic. In fact, so far the only negative parts of the experience have been 1) the fact that Upstairs Kid and I stopped at Sonic on the way and I ended up getting food all over myself and mustard on my seat belt so my car smells and 2) my upper left back muscles are sore (and have been since yesterday). But yeah, yay guns!

See what a little alcohol and dancing can do for one's mood?

Whiz Bang

Today started out splendidly. I woke up early and got out of bed (well, off the couch as it were) by 6:30. I was packed for work and so decided to drink coffee and read the news until 7, when I got ready for work. Being up early, I took time with my appearance for a change, thinking about the outfit and even putting on makeup as I had a networking event scheduled this evening. I set off at about 7:40 and was feeling pretty optimistic.

Then I somehow managed to forget that the oncoming traffic had two lanes and so I tried to make a left turn and got hit by a car. Here, this is how it happened.
The accident was, obviously, scary. After all, someone smashed into the back of my car and I didn't know what was going to happen. Fortunately, I was fine as were the driver and passenger of the other car. The driver wanted to be mean to me at first, I could tell with his approach, but I was so helpful and forthcoming and deferential (I was shaking and just wanted it over with) that he ended up being nice to me. He was even nicer once I started crying uncontrollably whilst also apologizing for crying uncontrollably.

Nothing like a car accident to fuck up your day, especially when you are at fault. Unfortunately, he insisted on calling the police and I am incapable of lying to the police so I didn't try to say that I had the green arrow (if I had, no one would have gotten a ticket... but I didn't say that so I got a ticket) and received a citation that will cost me $126. That is one hundred twenty six more dollars than I can afford. And my car is banged up enough that I had to take it to a shop. I won't have any body work done but I need to have something or other fixed so that I don't end up in a worse situation on the highway. That will cost me many more dollars than I can afford as well.

But it is over for now. I've dealt with the insurance people (my car isn't a very good one so I only have liability) and I followed up with the other driver to ingratiate myself and to thank him for not being a total lunatic. Even though he seemed like he wanted to be mad, I appreciated his holding back and being calm and courteous in the end. The cop was super nice too. I think he felt really bad for me just because I couldn't stop crying.

I'll be working from home until I get my car back though I took personal time today, just because I couldn't focus on anything really. I'm extremely fortunate to have the ability to work from home even though I don't like doing it very often because there is no one to talk to or gossip with and the pig yells at me all day. But I'm grateful for the ability and will take full advantage of it.

The best thing to come out of this was that I finally made myself a Side Car utilizing this recipe from one of my favorite blogs. These are just as delightful as Her Laundress states and they certainly did the trick when I needed fortification. It is my new signature drink, replacing the Singapore Sling, and I plan on ordering it every place I go since I actually know how to make it. I looked up the measurements and it looks to be roughly 1 1/2 oz brandy, 3/4 oz Triple Sec, and 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice. Try it, seriously. Don't like brandy? Hardly noticeable (and I like brandy), at least if you use the kind I am, which turns out to be diluted.

Drive safely, children. You never know what idiot is on the road with you forgetting how many lanes there are.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Vote Damn It

So, you may know from my night of debauchery that I am very passionate about voting. As I state in that post, that is usually the only thing I get loud and argumentative about whilst drunk. That doesn't mean, of course, that I have to necessarily be drunk to be passionate. Yesterday, after one beer, I ran into Upstairs Kid and Golf, my neighbor, and I grilled them on whether or not they were registered (nope). Later, Golf's girlfriend, Stripper, joined the conversation. I explained to her (white girl) and Upstairs Kid (black guy) that they, of all people, should take this shit seriously.

After all, who fought and died for their right to not vote?

I get it though. They are in their twenties and trying to figure out life as adults. I remember that time and I wasn't very political or newsy myself. I'm still not. I try to keep on top of what goes on but I'll admit that I don't zone in on an article about another suicide bombing. But I started paying attention in my mid twenties, not even understanding the import.

We live in a very free country. In fact, we live in a country with so many indulgences that we feel we can be cavalier about voting rights. Citizens in other countries? They line up for hours or days to vote, even if they may die doing so. But us? We have farmville and facebook and Hustler and so many other things to distract us that we just don't care. Besides, we have convinced ourselves, one vote doesn't count. But it would if we all voted.

I don't know about you, but it matters very much to me what rights I have to abortion, how we plan to fund education, what we plan to do to eliminate poverty. I'm neither pregnant, nor in high school, nor impoverished, but I care. I was on reduced lunch as an elementary school kid and I went to Planned Parenthood in college when I didn't have health benefits (birth control and pap smears, not abortion). I care about what my country does and how the leaders of my country feel towards other countries.

Because I know it matters. I will always vote for more funding for schools because, although I do not have children, I understand that it might me kid in school who takes care of my ass when I'm old and cancer ridden. I care about immigration rights because mine is a family of immigrants, my first American born relative being my maternal grandfather (everyone else, my maternal grandmother, my paternal grandparents, and my father, all from other countries). I care about gay rights because, whilst I myself am married to a heterosexual male, I want to ensure that all people have the same rights. After all, how long ago was it that people thought interracial marriage was harmful to the "institution of marriage"?

I care. I care because I live in this country, I benefit from living in this country, and I can be threatened by living in this country if no one gives a shit. So I will always be passionate about voting and I will always give you shit if you don't vote. You don't complain and so that justifies your not voting? Bullshit. You probably complain about something like welfare, taxes, the education system, freedom of speech, or any other sundry item. If you ever complain about one damn thing about your country, you are complaining.

Therefore, you should vote; unless you only complain about the weather.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

New Addition

Text conversation twixt me and my mother.

ME: "In one of her pics, Baby looks like Uncle Spiro."
MOM: "No she does not!"
ME: "Yes she does. She looks like she is crying though. In the one Teacher* has as his profile pic, she looks happy, adorable, and utterly non Spiro."
MOM: "Why do you say she looks like Spiro?"
ME: "I don't know, it just popped into my head when I saw the pic. She looks like a wizened, old, Greek man."
MOM: "Don't tell Teacher she looks like Spiro."
ME: "No shit, why do you think I told you? And it is only in one pic."
MOM: "Just making sure."

I have a new niece! Teacher's wife gave birth at some point on February 4, I believe. Hard to know given that they live in U.A.E. and I got the info second hand from my mom. She is adorable and she looks content in the profile picture that I mentioned. But she seriously looks like a cranky old man in another picture. I'm sure all babies do.

I have a reputation for not liking children, mainly because I always say that I don't. That isn't really the case though. Kids are fine, they are whatever. I have more sympathy for crying children, especially infants, now than when I was younger because I finally understand that, dude, their kids. If a little kid is hurt or ill or unhappy, s/he doesn't have the same resources that an adult does so crying and tantrums are the go to. Now when I see a toddler throwing a fit or being loud in a store, I just think "poor thing" and "poor parent(s)."I'm just not very comfortable around them and I have no desire to have my own. I've gotten a lot better with the comfort thing, mostly because of my brother's older daughter and the fact that little girls in Arizona, belonging to my mother's friends, really seem to like me. But I don't know how to talk to them or what to do with them and am extremely nervous in their company.

That being said, I'm stoked about the new addition to my brother's little family and hope that his three year old takes it in stride. So happy birthday new little niece. I'm sure you'll be very feminine and beautiful as baby faces don't last**.

*I have nicknames for everyone on this blog and most of them, Hunter, BFF, Birdie, Stalker, and Spark Plug, I can keep straight. But when it comes to my family, I trip up and cannot, for the life of me, remember what I've called them in the past. My middle brother is a teacher so I'm hoping Teacher is something I can hold in my little brain.

**That might not be true. My mom tells a story about how, when I was a little girl, she had a picture of me as a baby in my room. I reportedly told her to "take that mad baby out" of my room. My first boyfriend told me that when he first approached me, he was kind of nervous because I always look pissed off. But I'm no longer bald and I don't hang out with my mouth open so, you know...